Reese Witherspoon Pays Tribute to Others Who Have Spoken Out About Sexual Assault

Following an emotional revelation about being sexually assaulted by a director at 16, Reese Witherspoon paid tribute to the women and men who, like her, have spoken up about the sexual harassment they've faced in the industry and beyond.

"Last night felt like a sea change," the Oscar winner wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday. "A moment where women and men spoke up about harassment and the abuse of power in an open forum as a community that will not tolerate this behavior anymore."

Reese Witherspoon
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

"A new community determined to create change so young people who come after us will not have to the feel shame or guilt that does not belong to them," she continued. "I am so encouraged that we are making a new path forward."

During an event Monday evening, the Big Little Lies star joined the growing list of leading ladies who have claimed they've received unwelcome sexual advances while working in the film industry by opening up about how she has experienced it as well.

"This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths," she told the crowd on Monday.

Witherspoon revealed that she was not only sexually assaulted by a director but was also silenced after it happened. "[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16-years-old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment," she said.

Adding that she "felt less alone this week than [she's] have ever felt in [her] entire career," Witherspoon continued, "I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal."

"For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we're with you, we have your back and it makes me feel better. It makes me so sad to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to," she said.

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